I’m not adept in Photoshop by any means; I know enough to do some damage, and I try to spend as little time as possible retouching images, so watching beauty edit videos are fascinating to me. With their attention to detail and the time it takes for one individual image (I’ve known photographers to spend 8 HOURS or more!), beauty retouching is an art in and of itself.


The following beauty retouch by Dave Kai Piper took almost 45 minutes and was sped up to 3 minutes to show you his post processing workflow for this particular image. The portrait was taken with one single Speedlight, a modifier and a Fuji X-T1. Throughout the video, there are brief explanations interjected to help you understand what he is doing and what tools are being used in each section.

Fuji X-T1
1/60th f5.6
ISO 320
Lens: 16-55mm F2.8 WR 
Lee Filters x 2 ND Grads 0.6 Soft & 0.9 Hard
Single speed light
Roundflash modifier

This is the SOOC photo, shot in RAW using Classic Chrome Film Simulation mode.


The images below are the two images, after the extensive retouch. The first image has a lighter finish as it was being used for a flier and needed to support text on the image. The second image is a brighter version suitable for printing and online gallery usage. It’s always wise as you retouch to keep in mind what the end product will be as it could change the way you process that image.


Image 1 – for flier


Image 2 – for printing/online


Watch Peliroja Beauty Editing Video

Retouching is such a subjective and controversial issue. It has been vilified in the media for all sorts of evils. Some people subscribe to the less is more camp, others the opposite. In any case, retouching in this industry, and especially in the fashion and commercial genre, is here to stay for a while. If you are interested in getting into the fashion/commercial photography field, check out Creative Retouching Essentials in A Day and Digital Photo Retouching both by Julia Kuzmenko McKim.

For more details on this particular edit, check out the original post here.